ROCK Celtic extended a very warm welcome to World Cup-bound Megan Campbell.
World Cup-bound Megan receives warm welcome
The Liverpool and Ireland star paid a visit courtesy of SuperValu to the local club grounds and was bowled over by the turnout of young girls who, under the guidance of their coaches and managers, displayed their skills on the main pitch at Sandy Lane.
Also present to welcome the player and wish her well and her teammates on their pioneering Australia/New Zealand adventure, being the first Irish ladies team to qualify to take part in the World Cup finals, were members of the Louth Schoolgirls representative team. They were among the guests and dignitaries present from the game in the area.
Clearly conscious of her role as ambassador for the mushrooming ladies sport in the country, the player expressed the hope to her large admiring audience that included many parents that she could “do them proud” in the finals starting in July and running into August.
Chairman Michael Dillon and fellow official Majella Keating from the Dundalk Schoolboys League, along with FAI Regional Development Officer, Mick Neville, attended the event.
Ciara Quinn, speaking on behalf of the club, highlighted the local growth of girl’s soccer over the past few years.
She specifically mentioned two girls Emma Gaughran and Aoife Fanning who have progressed from the club to higher things. Goalkeeper Aoife, she said, was playing with the Ireland under-16 team.
She said the club had over 120 girls on their books and virtually to a girl they took part in the on-pitch exhibition and greeting of Ms Campbell.
The Ireland star admitted it was a different situation from which she was brought up in the sport. She said she had played her way through playing with boys.
Ms Maguire acknowledged the support and generosity of SuperValu along with Centra to the club and to the community.
SuperValu are involved in offering the lucky winner the chance of a trip to Australia to support the Irish team.
Work starts on redeveloping facilities at Rock Celtic HQ
ROCK Celtic have commenced work on substantial redevelopment of their facilities at their headquarters at Sandy Lane to make them suitable for playing requirements.
With the aid of sports grant funding the club are carrying out alterations to the clubrooms, upgrading their floodlights and replacing the main all-weather playing surface with the present carpet past its lifespan.
The re-adaptation of the clubrooms, specifically the ground floor dressing rooms and storage area, commenced within the last few weeks and is nearly finished.
The work entailed knocking down interior structures, mainly walls to enlarge and upgrade the dressing room area and make it more suitable to needs with now a large girls’ section and the size of the original changing rooms too small for adult teams especially.
The same number of dressing rooms will be provided, comprised of two for adults and two for juveniles, but they will be much larger.
The next phase of the work will be updating the floodlights which were not so many years ago enhanced to enable the staging of a number of schoolboys’ international matches. Since then the club has experienced on occasion floodlight breakdowns, and the lights need to be upgraded and replaced that will make them more efficient and less costly to run.
The club are looking at July to bring in contractors to carry out the necessary work and effect the desired improvements to the floodlight system.
The third and final phase of the facilities update will be the laying of a new playing carpet on the main all-weather pitch which is scheduled for later in the year.
The club have been preparing for quite some time to make these improvements. An important step was sourcing grant funding from the national capital sports scheme, with three separate tranches amounting to €140,000 allocated to the club to enable them proceed with the projects.
Covid intervened and trying to fulfil requirements and other considerations delayed the club proceeding with the work.
Getting work done in earnest for the Tidy Towns competition
THE two Tidy Towns groups in the parish are getting ahead with work and carrying out improvements in Haggardstown and Blackrock ahead of the judging in the national competition.
The Blackrock group, with the aid of grant funding, are to revamp two of the features at the main entrances to the village at the Loakers and the Greengates.
Work started at Greengates last week.
The two entrance features are to be renovated and refurbished, and there is a deadline of the end of the month to complete the work. This is the condition on which they were granted funding to replace the shrub and flower beds.
The local group are into their Weekly Action Hours programme that they have engaged in for years in the run-up to the adjudication period, sprucing up the village. Each year, committee and any other volunteers who wish meet to devote an hour on a Monday night to various tasks that will enhance the appearance of the village and get it into ship-shape.
Giving the initiative added impetus to get as many as possible involved in preparing the village and make it more and more attractive to live in, as well as curry favour with the national Tidy Town Judges, the local committee have adopted a new motto: ‘Do a little outside your door and a little bit more’.
This is to encourage all owners to present their property well and outside their boundaries. Without much exertion they can contribute to the overall presentation of the village and gain the satisfaction of playing their role in an overall community effort that could yield greater recognition and kudos for the village.
Haggardstown Tidy Towns are adopting a similar approach as their next-door neighbours, with hourly sessions having started to spruce up the roundabouts and other specific areas in the locality.
Tuesday night has been selected, with the intention that the programme runs for six to eight weeks, and volunteers meeting from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.